News Ed Balls denied the claim that he would go beyond a 50p top tax rate

Ed Balls has vowed to increase the top tax rate for high earners to 50p

British Gas owner poised for role in UK fracking

Centrica, British Gas’s owner, is in talks to buy into Cuadrilla Resources, chaired by the former BP chief executive Lord Browne, in a move that could boost the UK’s nascent shale gas industry.

The Pawnbroker logo hangs outside a pawn shop in Walthamstow in London, England

Austerity to last until 2020: expect hard times for a decade, say think tanks

'We are still as far away from the target of balancing the deficit as we were in 2010'

Surprise fall in UK trade gap caps feelgood week

The UK's goods trade deficit tumbled by £1 billion to £8.2 billion in April, making it £600 million smaller than expected and the lowest since January. Including the services surplus, the overall deficit shrank from £3.2 billion to £2 billion.

Recovery hopes boost after trade deficit drops to £2.6bn

Recovery hopes have received a further boost after figures revealed the gap between the UK's exports and imports dropped by more than expected to £2.6 billion in April.

Ed Miliband faced Conservative claims of 'hypocrisy'

Tories brand Ed Miliband a 'hypocrite' over Labour donor's tax avoidance

Party helped John Mills avoid tax of up to £1.5m by accepting a £1.65m donation in the form of shares in his JML shopping channel company rather than cash

'I'll scrap winter fuel payouts for rich pensioners' says Ed Balls

Ed Balls on Labour's spending plans: We would scrap winter fuel payouts for rich pensioners

Shadow chancellor says Labour would axe grant for 600,000 better off pensioners

Ben Chu: Why isn't a global tax on multinational profits on the agenda for G8?

Outlook Big Brother watched you. And Google? Google just loves you. The internet search leviathan's boss Eric Schmidt told us so this week. "Google will continue to invest in the UK no matter what you guys do," he told the audience at the company's annual Big Tent shindig this week. "We love you guys too much".

Services sector boosts economic recovery

The UK's return to growth was underlined today as revised figures confirmed the dominant services sector helped the economy expand by 0.3% in the first three months of the year.

Gary Oldman: Other actors from the Harry Potter franchise have done well at the Baftas in recent years, with Jim Broadbent (’Moulin Rouge’, 2001), Imelda Staunton (’Vera Drake’, 2004), Bill Nighy (‘Love Actually’, 2003) and Helena Bonham Carter (‘The King’s Speech’, 2010) among recent winners

The so-called 'Robin Hood Tax' will rob pensioners and small businesses not just bankers

The Financial Transactions Tax nicknamed the "Robin Hood Tax" might be popular with celebrities, but Osborne's objections are rooted in economic good sense

Andy McSmith's Diary: A soapbox for the rich and obstinately opinionated

If you have money to throw away and a mind bunged up with prejudices you feel you must share, all you need do these days is contact the advertising department of The Times.

George Osborne: 'Confidence is returning to financial markets'

George Osborne: Changing course on economy will take Britain 'back to square one'

Chancellor tells CBI's annual dinner that his economic plan is 'taking longer than anyone hoped,' but insisted real progress is being made

Treasury missing MP letters response target

Almost half the letters sent to the Treasury by MPs and peers are not responded to within the target time of 15 working days, figures revealed today.

Osborne has paid lip service to tackling tax havens, but when will the hard work actually start?

Ten of the world’s tax havens are UK-linked territories - the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. The clue is in the names.

Keynes might have had time for the George Osborne plan

The target of Niall Ferguson's attack has also been traduced by economic convervatives

Editorial: Chancellor takes a wrong turn

The 'greenest government ever' ought to be doing its best to get the most out of existing roads
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
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Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick